Sexual violence, physical assault, looting of property and destruction of property by the security forces consisting of CoBRA, CRPF, District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the local police in the villages of Pedagallur, Chhattisgarh
Kadati Sushila and Ors. V State of Chhattisgarh WPCR/54/17, Hon’ble High Court of Chhattisgarh Synopsis The petitioners herein are victims of sexual violence, physical assault, looting of property and destruction of property by the security forces consisting of CoBRA, CRPF, District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the local police in the villages of Pedagallur, Chinnagullur. There was an FIR being crime no. 22/2015 registered at Police Station Basaguda, District Bijapur (C.G.) pursuant to the complaint filed by the complainant social activist Bela Bhatiya. In the above FIR police has not arrested a single accused person, despite the fact that some of the accused were named by the victims in their statement recorded by the police, by the magistrate u/s 164 of Cr.P.C., National Commission for scheduled tribe and National Commission for Human Rights. The petition was therefore filed by the petitioners seeking transfer of investigation in crime no. 22/2015 to the Special Investigation Team consisting on senior Police Officer from outside the State of Chhattisgarh and same may be monitored by the Hon’ble High Court. The petitioners have also prayed in the present petition that they may be given compensation for violation of their fundamental rights, compensation under the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe, Rules and under the scheme of compensation framed by the State Government for rape victims. Status AS per the order dated 08.02.2017 the learned counsel for the petitioners has submitted that two investigation are carried out first by National Commission for Scheduled Tribe and second by National Human Rights Commission and the offences are prima facie alleged to have been found, however, despite FIR no progress is being made in this case till 2015, as mass rape of the woman and molestation was committed by few of the police constables and security forces at Bastar and the named FIR was filed. State counsel has prayed time to seek instructions. Notice was issued to the Respondents, as per rules, on admission and also on interim relief application. The National Human Rights Commission has also initiated a suo moto proceeding based on a newspaper article raising the issue of the present petitioners in outlook magazine. Recently, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a show cause notice as to why a compensation amount be not recommended by the commission. The case is still pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Chhattisgarh. Description Background The petitioners have presented the present petition because the state has violated rights of the victim under article 21 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners do not have faith in the investigation carried out by the present investigating agency, it therefore requires investigation by special investigation team consisting of senior police officer of outside Chhattisgarh and the above investigation is periodically monitored by the Hon’ble Court. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe has made following conclusion: - The investigation by the local police is unsatisfactory. Statements of all the victims and witnesses have not been recorded. There was delay in registration of FIR and conducting medical of victims. Because, the medical was conducted lately, there may be chanced that evidence of rape may not be found. The indemnification of security forces who were involved in the sexual offences has not been done till date. The penal provision under the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has not been invoked. In the search operations, the security forces stay at tribal houses and harass women and children. In the above search operations, women police officers do not take part. The National Commission for Human Rights has issued a show cause notice to the State Government with respect to payment of compensation to some of the petitioners herein.